Russia charges less for the Covid vaccine and produces 1 billion doses

The worker wearing personal protective equipment contains unlabeled ampoules of the “Gam-COVID-Vac” COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Center for Epidemiological and Microbiological Research and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

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On the corner of promising coronavirus vaccine news from the UK and the US, Russia said on Tuesday that vaccination will be cheaper than its rivals and aims to produce a billion doses next year.

“The price of a dose of Sputnik V vaccine for international markets will be less than $ 10,” Russian RDIF Russian sovereign wealth fund said. The Russian coronavirus vaccine requires two doses.

“Thus, Sputnik V will be twice or more cheaper than foreign vaccinations based on mRNA technology with similar efficiencies. Vaccination of Sputnik V will be free for Russian citizens,” RDIF added.

The claim appears to apply to vaccine candidates from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which are made from messenger RNA. Over the past few weeks, companies have reported high efficacy rates for vaccines in late-stage studies.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to cost about $ 20 per dose, while the CEO of Moderna said two days ago that its vaccination will cost $ 25-37 per dose, depending on the amount ordered. Both require two doses.

Russia’s comments come a day after British pharmaceutical maker AstraZeneca and Oxford University say an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials found their vaccine to be “very effective.” Their vaccine uses a viral vector approach, not mRNA technology.

Vaccination with AstraZeneca, which requires two doses, is estimated to cost $ 3-4 per dose.

1 billion doses

Optimism about vaccine news has quickly focused on the practicality, cost, and logistics of mass production and distribution.

RDIF said on Tuesday that current agreements with “leading foreign pharmaceutical companies” meant “planning to produce enough of its vaccine” for 500 million people a year from 2021. As this is a two-dose vaccine, that means next year It aims to produce 1 billion doses.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to produce up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021, while Moderna says it will be well on its way to producing 500 million and 1 billion doses worldwide next year. AstraZeneca said on Monday that it is “making rapid progress in manufacturing, with a capacity of up to 3 billion doses of vaccine in 2021, continuously, pending regulatory approval.”

Russia’s coronavirus vaccine was the first in the world to be registered, fostering international skepticism about the evidence for efficacy and safety because it had not yet published any early-stage clinical trial data or started third-phase trials.

Since then, he has shared the first interim analysis of the third phase studies and published the second interim analysis of the experimental data on Tuesday. He said the results showed that the vaccine was 91.4% effective in protecting against coronavirus infection after 28 days and was more than 95% effective after 42 days. The study looked at the data after there were 39 confirmed cases of coronavirus among the 18,794 volunteers who received both doses of Sputnik V vaccine or placebo.

The RDIF reiterated that its test results will be published by the country’s Gamaleya Center team in “one of the leading international experts’ peer-reviewed medical journals, ”but did not say when. He added that he would provide access to the full clinical trial report once the third phase clinical trials were completed.